Coaching & Training Services
Are you tired of feeling anxious every time you take your dog for a walk?
Does the constant worry about unpredictable reactions leave you feeling isolated and stressed?
We understand the unique challenges you face as a pet parent with a fearful, reactive, or aggressive dog.
Our Private Training Program is designed to address your difficulties head-on, providing personalized solutions for a more harmonious life with your beloved pup.
- Feel secure and confident with a training program that prioritizes safety, creating a path to a predictable and controlled environment for both you and your dog.
- Say goodbye to constant stress. Our holistic approach helps alleviate anxiety, allowing you to enjoy your time with your dog without the weight of worry.
- Rediscover the joy of your daily routines and activities. Our program guides you in incorporating your dog’s needs into your life effortlessly through best practices for enrichment, stress reduction, and prevention of unwanted behavior.
How does Smiles Dog Training do things differently from other trainers?
🔍 Tailored Solutions: We believe in a customized approach. Every dog is a unique individual, and we craft a custom training plan that suits your dog’s needs and personality.
✅ Positive Reinforcement: We are committed to building trust and cooperation through positive reinforcement. No harsh methods or tools – just a compassionate, safe, and effective approach to training.
🌈 Prioritizing Wellness: Our programs go beyond behavior modification. We focus on the overall well-being of your dog, ensuring a happy and healthy life.
🌟 Proven Results: Join the countless pet parents who have witnessed remarkable transformations in their dogs’ behavior. Check out our success stories!
Limited Spots Available!
Our personalized one-on-one training program has limited spots to ensure dedicated attention to each client. Don’t miss your chance to create a lasting bond with your pup.
Once we have determined you are a good fit for our program, our expert team, led by Sara Miles, CPDT-KA, will schedule a virtual consultation. This is where we get to know you, your dog, and your goals better.
All private training clients start with an initial online consultation via Zoom, which lasts about an hour. During this initial consultation we will discuss the behavioral and medical history of your dog and any other pets in the house, the challenges you are facing, and address the environmental factors that may be playing a role. The consultation also includes immediate recommendations to implement and a training plan for future program sessions.
To better serve our community, we have broken the consultation down into two options:
- Emergency Consultation: These consultations are reserved for pet parents that are in immediate danger due to the behavior of at least one animal in the home. Applications are given priority review and scheduled as soon as possible.
- Training & Wellness Audit: Audits are perfect for pet parents who have been working with their dog on training or behavior modification but are struggling to make progress.
Investment of $250
private coaching program
During the initial virtual consultation we will assess next steps for your situation which could be a referral for veterinary support and/or addressing your needs with our comprehensive training and behavior modification program. Whether it’s tackling fear, reactivity, or aggression, we’re here to guide you every step of the way.
The Private Coaching Program includes in-person sessions for clients in the Phoenix Metropolitan area, access to our virtual resource library, text/email/phone support during your program and included alumni membership, plus an essentials training kit provided at the beginning of your training to make working through challenges a breeze.
Investment: $1395 (or 2 monthly payments of $725)
*vip* concierge program
For pet parents that have limited time to train their dogs, need hands-on help implementing their recommended program, and are ready to commit to this all-inclusive experience.
- Customized training starter kit for your pup
- Private in-home day training sessions where we work directly with your dog
- Private in-home coaching sessions with your trainer to transition cues and recommendations
- Enrichment prep and implementation sessions
- Unlimited phone and email support throughout the program
- One year of Smiles Dog Training Alumni membership benefits
Investment: Starts at $6000
Common service and training questions.
Reward-based training is not a “free for all” for your pet! Every behavior your pet does is motivated by something – emotions or basic needs. We teach you management techniques to prevent inappropriate behaviors and use reward-based training with your pet to teach them more appropriate behaviors. Ignoring behaviors can be equally detrimental to the process because it means we are ignoring those emotions or basic needs. Instead, we revisit our management techniques to change what wasn’t working so your pet is set up for success in the future. You can read more about our training philosophy and ethics here.
Trainers love to use food as a reinforcer in training because food is a powerful motivator for most animals. Whether or not an animal takes food during a training session also tells us a lot about their emotional state and whether we’ve designed the session to be conducive to learning. However, we have worked with dogs and cats in a variety of situations where food was not the strongest motivator for that situation. We focus on teaching you and your pet, and the rewards used are based on your pet’s specific needs.
Our goal with training is to introduce other real-life rewards (praise, petting, play, opportunity) to pets as soon as possible in the learning process. Our main goal is to improve the human-animal bond between you and your pet. This bond tends to “blow open” your pet’s capacity to learn from you, and the bond itself can ultimately become the reward. Using food in early training builds the foundation for using real-life rewards later once behaviors are well-established!
There are a lot of different reasons why an animal doesn’t take food in a specific situation. The food may not be interesting enough or the situation too stressful. The animal may have recently eaten or thinks tennis balls are so much more exciting than hot dogs! It is our job to help you figure out why food isn’t a motivator and adjust accordingly.
Again, this depends on your pet’s preferences! We’ve used hot dogs, turkey, cream cheese, string cheese, easy cheese, wet food, chewy treats, crunchy treats, tuna, chicken, peanut butter and even just kibble to work with animals. Every animal is different. It is important to try a variety of food reinforcers to determine their value in your pet’s eyes. You may think veggies are a treat, but if your dog just finds them to be so-so then you need to find something more exciting!
When using food as a reinforcer during training, it is important to keep the rewards very small so your pet doesn’t fill up right away and looks forward to more training later. Training practice should be done in short spurts throughout the day, and you can modify your pet’s regular meals to accommodate the additional food they receive during training.
Behavior is fluid and based on your pet’s motivations. There is, unfortunately, no cookie-cutter recipe for training and behavior modification. Each case is unique and heavily dependent on owner commitment to training and management. We can, however, guarantee to provide you with scientifically based knowledge and techniques for training, as well as a commitment to ensuring client satisfaction.
We know people are sometimes surprised that we don’t offer individual sessions for purchase, and we like to be transparent about why. Dog training is a lot like fitness training – it takes time and effort to get the results you want. When we first started, we offered individual sessions and ended up working with most clients for at least four sessions anyway (at their request!). The clients that only wanted a single in-person session were looking for that “magic pill”, and that’s just not what we offer (or what any reputable trainer should offer). We want to provide a training experience that is successful and long-lasting, and we build our services to provide just that!
We are happy to provide refunds to clients who cancel their prepaid lessons at least 48 hours in advance of the appointment. Since training and behavior modification success is dependent on owner commitment to training and management, we are unable to provide refunds for any services already provided.